ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday declared to take the matter of Panama Leaks to its final end as the matter has caused defamation of the country, Aaj News reported.
“Government had pledged to conduct meaningful investigation of Panama leaks but it has not yet started. No judge of good repute is willing to be a member of inquiry commission. Panama Leaks has weakened the ethical standing of the current government,” Bilawal said while addressing a meeting of core committee at Zardari House.
He added:“Government will have to conduct worthy and unbiased investigation of Panama Papers exposure at any cost. This problem will not be suppressed in any situation.”
“The more the government will try to save themselves from this issue, the more it will follow and frighten them,” Bilawal further added.
The Panama Paper leaks exposed on April 3 involves a vast trove of documents detailing the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars.
The data from the Panama Papers, available on the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — one of around 100 news organisations and 300 journalists that worked on mining the data simultaneously — also reveals the offshore holdings of members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family.
According to documents available on the ICIJ website, the PM’s children Mariam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.
But the papers are not necessarily evidence of wrongdoing. According to The Guardian, using offshore structures is entirely legal.
“There are many legitimate reasons for doing so. Business people in countries such as Russia and Ukraine typically put their assets offshore to defend them from `raids’ by criminals, and to get around hard currency restrictions,” the paper said in an explanatory note.
Leaders such as the presidents of Ukraine, Argentina, UAE; as well as relatives of UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Syrian leader Bashaar al-Assad, a former Chinese PM, as well as the son of former UN chief Kofi Anan are also mentioned in the leaked documents. It is expected that the data leak will yield more information in days to come.